If you are involved or interested in the tech industry, you may have heard about the incident at PyCon this year. I’m not going to go into the details. You can read about it yourself. However, it raises a question about professionalism and professional identity. According to Merriam-Webster, one extended definition of professional is “characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession” and “exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace.”
The keyword is workplace. In the digital age, where is the workplace? Is it the physical place you go to that is not your home? What if you telecommute? If your work, and by extension, your professional identity take place online through listservs, discussion forums, Twitter, and Facebook groups, does that make the online world your workplace? When profiles are linked and employer information is presented, does one have an obligation to act in a professional manner?
We’d like to hear from you. How do you manage your professional identity online? What behavior is and isn’t okay? Do you feel there is tension with how your profession is represented? What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your profession?